Knowledge base: The Bag

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What's inside my bag?

The queen of accessories represents the meeting between the frivolous and the useful.

Historically worn by men, and later becoming a faithful companion of women, today the bag lives a revolution that sees it as the protagonist of an increasingly agender closet.

The Useful One: 

It was a Prehistoric man who invented the first bag. It was a strip of crumpled skin used to carry food and tools: the maximum expression of usefulness. Its name derives from the ancient Greek “byrsa” (leather) and it indicated a male accessory designed by artisans, cooks and saddlers to contain money from their trade. 

The most refined workmanship had their origin in 12th century Tuscany, where a real art of leather processing developed. From the tanning of beef and buffalo, more resistant bags were made, whereas for more elegant bags more refined leathers were used, deriving from calves, goats and chamois. 

Medieval German money purse, 15th century

Medieval German money purse, 15th century

Picture of a French girl with a purse, 1920 approx

Picture of a French girl with a purse, 1920 approx.

The Frivolous One: 

At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it was the more dynamic outfits of working and traveling women that required the use of handbags. During the Belle Epoque, any object gravitated around beauty, and so even handbags were enriched with mother-of-pearl decorations and precious fabrics such as silk.

After the war everything changes: women begin to conquer their space in the world, having fun in the evening and working in the morning. Square clutches embellished with beads, strass and rhinestones became popular and became essential to complete simple looks such as petite robe noire.

In the 1930s, the sobriety and elegance of bourgeois values returned. Timeless and iconic models such as the black handbag with diamond-quilted leather by Chanel or the horse-riding-inspired bag by Gucci became popular. Every bag has its occasion, each hour has its bag: practical and roomy for the day, small in precious leather for the evening.

Read the story of Italian manufacturers of bags.

The Powerful One: 

The economic boom of the 1950s witnessed the birth of the new ruling class. Men and women, often commuters, crowded the cities to go to their offices. Rigid and structured bags, such as trunks and briefcases or practical bags with lots of pockets and zippers, became popular to meet the need for practicality in a new world.

Whether it’s the classic 24 Hours or the timeless Birkin by Hermès, the bag becomes a true symbol of power. We also find it on the arm of Queen Elizabeth who, with her beloved Launer bags, sends secret messages to her entourage during official ceremonies.

The One from the Future: 

Eco-sustainable and gender free, it is the queen of bags in the twenty-first century: the fabric tote bag. Whether it’s canvas or cotton, this extremely durable, comfortable bag is a passepartout for any outfit and a must have for a modern wardrobe. Its simplicity has charmed even the giants of fashion like Saint Laurent, who has created a deluxe version of it, but, above all, perfect for both men and women. The fabric tote bag speaks the language of the future: green, functional and without prejudice.

Rainbow Tote Bag

Rainbow Tote Bag

Technical Guide:


On the arm, on the shoulder or by hand, the bag is in all its forms a faithful companion for all kinds of events. Its various models adapt to every moment of the day, occasion and need. Whether it is a small clutch bag for the evening or a shopper for every day, the chameleon bag goes with any personality.


The material of the bag is crucial to define its structure, its effect to the touch and its resistance. The most traditional option is leather and hide. Non-animal synthetic materials such as PVC or natural are often used for a green choice.

Do not miss the opportunity to increase your knowledge regarding the world of bags. Click below to download our technical guide!

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